User:Cartman02au/Reboot/Australia: Pranksters report New South Wales Health Minister as COVID-19-postive

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New South Wales (NSW) Health Minister Brad Hazzard has slammed pranksters who have filed false COVID-19 test results under his name as "juvenile and moronic" and warned that they would be investigated by Police. The Minister acknowledged that hundreds of self-reported rapid antigen tests to the NSW Government were false.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazard in Lismore on 5 December 2012.
Image: lockthegate on Flickr.

The Minister said those lodging false reports of infections were taking up time and resources of NSW Health who monitor for high-risk cases of COVID-19.

The fake reports follow the NSW government's introduction of a system last week to self-report rapid antigen test results via the Service NSW app and website, attempting to track the spread of the virus in the community. A positive result can be recorded by one person for another without using an account to verify who they are.

The health minister told a press conference that his details had been entered into the self-reporting system on two occasions, warning those responsible that they could face a AU$5000 fine if found out.

"I received notification yesterday and again today from New South Wales Health that apparently somebody has put my name in there as being a positive rapid antigen test," Mr Hazzard said.

An investigation has been commenced by the NSW Cybercrime Squad and anyone who has information about false reports is urged to contact Crime Stoppers. Detective Superintendent Matt Craft said it was a criminal offence to provide the NSW government with false information or to impersonate another person.

"Every interaction leaves an electronic footprint and the NSW Police Force has dedicated cybercrime detectives who will thoroughly investigate any reports of this nature," Superintendent Craft warned.

"Not only is this a nuisance, it also corrupts valuable pandemic data relied upon to support essential services. This is not a joke and is a criminal offence."